LA Times Crossword 7 May 19, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Stone Age

Themed answers each comprise two words, starting with the letters BC:

  • 63A Apparent setting for a two-letter comic strip suggested by the answers to starred clues : STONE AGE
  • 16A *Privates’ training site : BOOT CAMP
  • 5D *Unlimited budget, figuratively : BLANK CHECK
  • 10D *Uris WWII novel : BATTLE CRY
  • 29D *System with only ones and zeros : BINARY CODE
  • 35D *Picture-taking Brownie : BOX CAMERA

Bill’s time: 5m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Part of an urban fleet : CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

4 Recipe amt. : TBSP

Tablespoon (tbsp.)

8 Eva of “Green Acres” : GABOR

Eva Gabor was the youngest of the Gabor sisters, all three of whom were celebrated Hollywood actresses and socialites (her siblings were Zsa-Zsa and Magda). One of Eva’s claims to fame is the unwitting promotion of the game called “Twister”, the sales of which were languishing in 1966. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show” she got on all fours and played the game with Johnny Carson. Sales took off immediately, and Twister became a huge hit.

The popular sitcom “Green Acres” originally aired from 1965 to 1971. The magnificent stars of the show were Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, playing a couple who moved from New York City to a farm in the country. “Green Acres” was cancelled as part of CBS’s so called “rural purge”. In a move to attract younger audiences, shows were added to the schedule with more urban and contemporary themes. Classics like “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry R.F.D.” were dropped at the same time as “Green Acres”.

14 Part of a Basque ball game name : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

15 Deli counter staple : SALAMI

“Salame” (note the letter E at the end) is an Italian sausage that is traditionally associated with the peasant classes. The meat in the sausage is preserved with salt, and it can be hung and stored for as long as ten years. The name “salame” comes from “sale”, the Italian word for salt, and “-ame”, a suffix indicating a collective noun. Our English word “salami” is actually the Italian plural for “salame”.

19 Soothing succulent : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plants leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

22 Aptly named autopilot in “Airplane!” : OTTO

The 1980 movie “Airplane!” has to be one of the zaniest comedies ever made. The lead roles were Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays) and Elaine Dickinson (played by Julie Hagerty). But it was Leslie Nielsen who stole the show, playing Dr. Barry Rumack. That’s my own humble opinion of course …

24 Oscar winner Winslet of “The Reader” : KATE

Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses, one known for taking both the big Hollywood roles while still finding the time to act in smaller independent films. Perhaps Winslet’s most famous part was opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “Titanic”, although she won her Oscar for a more dramatic role in “The Reader”. But my favorite of her performances is in the romantic comedy “The Holiday” from 2006. I love that movie …

“The Reader” is a 2008 film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name (“Der Vorleser” in German). The movie stars Kate Winslet as Hanna, a character who is illiterate. In the late fifties, Hanna seduces a 15-year-old boy named Michael and has him read to her from books that he is studying. Years later, the boy is a law student observing the trial of a group of women who are accused of Nazi war crimes. Hanna was a guard in a concentration camp, and it is revealed that she had prisoners read to her in the evenings. Hanna is sentenced to life in prison. Michael sends Hanna tapes of his voice as he reads books from the time of their affair. Hanna uses the tapes to learn how to read while she is behind bars..

25 Chum : PAL

A chum is a friend. The term “chum” originated in the late 1600s as an alternative spelling for “cham”. In turn, “cham” was a shortened form of “chambermate”, a roommate at university.

26 Fourth quarter mo. : DEC

December is the twelfth month in our calendar but was the tenth month in the old Roman calendar, hence the name (“decem” is Latin for “ten”). Back then there were only ten months in the year. “Ianuarius” (January) and “Februarius” (February) were then added as the eleventh and twelfth months of the year. Soon after, the year was reset and January and February became the first and second months.

28 Big brass : TUBA

The tuba is the lowest-pitched of all the brass instruments, and one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra (usually there is just one tuba included in an orchestral line-up). “Tuba” is the Latin word for “trumpet, horn”. Oom-pah-pah …

30 MPG-testing org. : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) routinely estimates the expected miles per gallon (mpg) for vehicles.

36 “__ Brockovich” : ERIN

Erin Brockovich is an environmental activist who is famous for the role she played in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric for contaminating drinking water. Her story was told in a 2000 film title “Erin Brockovich” that starred Julia Roberts. Brockovich herself actually appeared in the film as she was given a cameo as a waitress in a restaurant scene.

40 Nearly obsolete golf club : ONE IRON

The golf club known as the 1-iron is the lowest lofted of all the irons. However, golfer big hitter John Daly owned a 0 iron that was specially made for him by Wilson.

45 Diamond-shaped pattern : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

47 Kitchen gadget brand : EKCO

The EKCO name dates back to 1888 when Edward Katzinger founded his company in Chicago, to make baking pans. The acronym EKCO stands for “Edward Katzinger Co”.

51 Courtroom fig. : ATTY

Attorney (atty.)

53 Santa Anita data : ODDS

Santa Anita Park is a racetrack for horses located in Arcadia, California. The most famous races on the track’s calendar are the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap.

57 Prefix for half of Earth : HEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

59 Acid used in cooking oil : OLEIC

Oleic acid is a fatty acid, one found in many animal and plants sources, but most notably in olives. As such, “Oleic” means “derived from the olive”. Oleic acid dissolves in basic solutions to create soaps.

61 Removed the pull tab from : OPENED

The term “pop top” refers to a whole family of designs for opening the top of a soda can. The oldest method is the “pull tab” or “ring pull”, invented in Canada in 1956. The design was long-lived, but it had its problems, so the world heaved a sigh of relief with the invention of the stay-on-tab in 1975. The new design led to less injuries and eliminated all those used pull tabs that littered the streets.

63 Apparent setting for a two-letter comic strip suggested by the answers to starred clues : STONE AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

“B.C.” is a comic strip that was drawn by Johnny Hart, and now since Hart’s passing, is produced by his grandson. Hart introduced “B.C.” in 1958. One of the non-human characters in the strip is the Anteater, who sucks up ants with his sticky tongue making a “ZOT” sound. Hart’s Anteater is the inspiration for Peter the Anteater, the team mascot for UC Irvine. Johnny Hart’s other famous comic strip is the brilliant “The Wizard of Id”.

66 Ye __ Shoppe : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

67 Hoops net holder : RIM

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

68 Mail-order pioneer : SEARS

Richard Sears was a station agent on the railroad. In the late 1800s, he bought up a shipment of unwanted watches that was left at his depot and sold the watches to other agents up and down the line. He was so successful that he ordered more watches and then came up with the idea of using a catalog to promote more sales. The catalog idea caught on, and his success allowed Sears to open retail locations in 1925. By the mid 1900s, Sears was the biggest retailer in the whole country.

Down

1 Conspiratorial group : CABAL

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

2 Garlicky sauce : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

6 Popular Girl Scout cookie : SAMOA

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookie, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes the Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name of “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookie sold are Thin Mints.

7 Lab tube : PIPETTE

A pipette (also “pipet”) is tool used in a lab to transport an accurately measured volume of liquid. Back in my day, we would suck up the liquid into the pipette by applying our mouths to the top of the instrument. This could be quite dangerous, as one ended up with a mouthful of something unsavory if one lifted the top of pipette out of the liquid too soon. Nowadays, things are much safer.

8 Narrow, bony fish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

9 Metal industry giant : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

10 *Uris WWII novel : BATTLE CRY

“Battle Cry” is a novel by Leon Uris that was first published in 1953. The story follows men in the US Marines during WWII. “Battle Cry” is somewhat biographical as Uris served with the 6th Marine Regiment during the war. The book was adapted into a 1955 movie of the same name for which Uris wrote the screenplay.

12 Puerto __ : RICO

Puerto Rico (PR) is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.

25 Bakery-café chain : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

29 *System with only ones and zeros : BINARY CODE

We use a base-ten numbering system, with ten digits (0 – 9). The binary system, or base-two, uses just two digits (0 & 1). The binary system is used at a fundamental level in computing, because the number 0 and 1 can be represented by microcircuits being switched “on” or “off”.

32 Green Gables lass : ANNE

“Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that she set in the fictional Prince Edward Island community of Avonlea. Montgomery wrote several sequels to “Anne”, with them all being set on Prince Edward Island (PEI), from where the author hailed.

33 Wile E. Coyote vendor : ACME

The Acme Corporation is a fictional company used mainly by Looney Tunes, and within the Looney Tunes empire it is appears mostly in “Road Runner” cartoons. Wile E. Coyote is always receiving a new piece of gear from Acme designed to finally capture the Road Runner, but the equipment always leads to his downfall.

34 Open __: scans for the claustrophobic : MRIS

MRI scans can be daunting for many people as they usually involve the patient lying inside a tube with the imaging magnet surrounding the body. Additionally, the scan can take up to 40 minutes in some cases. There are some open MRI scanners available that help prevent a feeling of claustrophobia. However, the image produced by open scanners are of lower quality as they operate at lower magnetic fields.

35 *Picture-taking Brownie : BOX CAMERA

Kodak introduced the Brownie box camera in 1900, and hence ushered in the era of low-cost photography and snapshots. Brownies went on sale for the princely sum of one dollar. And yes, I used to own one …

39 Window sticker : DECAL

A decal is a decorative sticker. “Decal” is a shortening of “decalcomania”. The latter term is derived from the French “décalquer”, the practice of tracing a pattern from paper onto glass or perhaps porcelain.

55 Wayward calf : DOGIE

“Dogie” is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

57 Hefty Cartwright brother : HOSS

Dan Blocker was the actor who played Eric “Hoss” Cartwright in the Western TV series “Bonanza”. Hoss was the “slow” character on the show. Paradoxically, Dan Blocker was the most-educated member of the cast, having earned a master’s degree in the dramatic arts. Blocker passed away while “Bonanza” was still running. He was undergoing relatively routine gallbladder surgery and developed a pulmonary embolism which killed him. Bonanza ran for just one more season after Blocker passed away.

58 Olympic weapon : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

62 Nav. rank : ENS

Ensign (ens.)

64 Actor Beatty : NED

Actor Ned Beatty is possible best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of an urban fleet : CAB
4 Recipe amt. : TBSP
8 Eva of “Green Acres” : GABOR
13 Tire filler : AIR
14 Part of a Basque ball game name : ALAI
15 Deli counter staple : SALAMI
16 *Privates’ training site : BOOT CAMP
18 Very cold : ARCTIC
19 Soothing succulent : ALOE
20 Forever, it seems : NO END
22 Aptly named autopilot in “Airplane!” : OTTO
23 Similar to : LIKE
24 Oscar winner Winslet of “The Reader” : KATE
25 Chum : PAL
26 Fourth quarter mo. : DEC
28 Big brass : TUBA
30 MPG-testing org. : EPA
33 Surprise attack : AMBUSH
36 “__ Brockovich” : ERIN
37 Swindle : CON
38 Framed in the darkroom for artistic effect : CROPPED
40 Nearly obsolete golf club : ONE IRON
42 Word after trail or party : … MIX
43 On the rocks : ICED
45 Diamond-shaped pattern : ARGYLE
46 “Outta here!” PC key : ESC
47 Kitchen gadget brand : EKCO
48 Campaigned : RAN
49 Throw in : ADD
51 Courtroom fig. : ATTY
53 Santa Anita data : ODDS
57 Prefix for half of Earth : HEMI-
59 Acid used in cooking oil : OLEIC
60 Hilarious routine : RIOT
61 Removed the pull tab from : OPENED
63 Apparent setting for a two-letter comic strip suggested by the answers to starred clues : STONE AGE
65 Calm : SERENE
66 Ye __ Shoppe : OLDE
67 Hoops net holder : RIM
68 Mail-order pioneer : SEARS
69 Have to have : NEED
70 “I did it!” : YES!

Down

1 Conspiratorial group : CABAL
2 Garlicky sauce : AIOLI
3 Trout’s home : BROOK
4 Tic-__-toe : TAC
5 *Unlimited budget, figuratively : BLANK CHECK
6 Popular Girl Scout cookie : SAMOA
7 Lab tube : PIPETTE
8 Narrow, bony fish : GAR
9 Metal industry giant : ALCOA
10 *Uris WWII novel : BATTLE CRY
11 Drop from a list : OMIT
12 Puerto __ : RICO
15 Down in the dumps : SAD
17 Prepared to drive, in golf : TEED UP
21 Prefix with surgery : NEURO-
25 Bakery-café chain : PANERA
27 Spotted : ESPIED
29 *System with only ones and zeros : BINARY CODE
31 Health club amenity : POOL
32 Green Gables lass : ANNE
33 Wile E. Coyote vendor : ACME
34 Open __: scans for the claustrophobic : MRIS
35 *Picture-taking Brownie : BOX CAMERA
39 Window sticker : DECAL
41 Pay no heed to : IGNORE
44 Loves to a fault : DOTES ON
50 Informal eatery : DINER
52 Book cover info : TITLE
54 Personal journal : DIARY
55 Wayward calf : DOGIE
56 Flower supporters : STEMS
57 Hefty Cartwright brother : HOSS
58 Olympic weapon : EPEE
59 Tribute in verse : ODE
62 Nav. rank : ENS
64 Actor Beatty : NED

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 May 19, Tuesday”

  1. Not sure that I saw the same movie (The Reader) as did Bill, In the version I saw ‘The Reader’ was a young man who had to read to Kate before sex. He failed to save her when she was later accused of a Nazi war crime that invoked her supposed writing a document. He knew that she was illiterate. Don’t remember prisoners reading to her. Perhaps the book narrative is not followed in the movie?

    1. And … I ended up doing a Croce puzzle from 2016/11/25 that I’ve been carrying around so long the paper is fraying on the edges: 5:09:07, no errors. The time includes a lot of walk-away time (badly needed, as the puzzle included a bunch of words/phrases that I’d never heard before, like “APTAGRAM” and “NEO SOUL” and “TUMBLRINA” – eventually got ‘em all, though).

  2. 8:06. A little rough coming out of the blocks but finished smoothly.

    I went to college with Leon Uris’ nephew so I’ve always been partial to his books. I believe BATTLE CRY was his first…and I never read it. My favorites of his are “Topaz” about a French/Soviet spy and “QBVII” (Queen’s Bench Courtroom VII) about a Nazi war criminal trial with more twists than you could imagine. Highly highly recommend either. I suspect Bill’s favorite Uris book would be “Trinity” – about Ireland. That’s a great read, but the beginning is like reading a history book about Ireland setting up the rest of the novel.

    Every golfer knows this story, but I’ll repeat it here for non-golfers. There’s a famous (probably apocryphal) story about golfer Lee Trevino walking into the clubhouse because of lightning being in the area. He held up his 1-iron and proclaimed he was in no danger because “even God can’t hit a 1-iron”…

    Glenn – interesting strategy. I think someone here recommended just doing acrosses to me once. I think Fred always did early week puzzles by blacking out the theme clues and solving it that way. Doing the downs only looks like it really challenged.

    Best –

    1. >Doing the downs only looks like it really challenged.

      A lot of it was the theme entries being in the down direction. I probably could have gotten by quicker with the Across entries. Yesterday’s LAT I got in 20 minutes the same way. Part of that could be a difficulty increase, but I’m sure a lot of it wasn’t having to work out the theme entries.

  3. About 1 hour and 0 errors again.

    I remember Trevino’s golf story and I got brushed by lightning once myself.
    I was the assistant pro at a Country Club in Missouri and was putting a short
    putt on No. 18 green, the highest point on the golf course. Lightning struck a tree right behind the green, near where the hole was cut. Luckily, I think, I had on a rain slicker, but I felt the heat on my neck and my playing partners said I jumped straight up. I looked down at where I had been standing and there were black outlines of my golf shoes, with a little black hole for each of the metal spikes!

    The worst part was, I missed the damn par putt! No lie, just because the keys
    are moving.

  4. Greetings all!!😎

    No errors– this one went fast. I saw the B C in the themed answers but didn’t really use the theme as the grid filled in so fast. 😊 My mastery of trivial vintage pop culture came in handy today, what with HOSS and GABOR and OTTO….😄

    John!! What a story! You tell it so vividly I can picture it and it’s pretty scary– glad you were okay!!

    Be well ~~🌹🌻🌺

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